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New Technology = Less Textbooks

Back to school madness is in full swing in our house. That means early alarms going off, rushing around in the morning and cranky kids. However, there is something new this year at least in our household. There aren’t books all over the dining room table like last year. That’s because our son’s High School is now putting everything on iPads. That’s right all books, all notes and all assignments are all on one device.

Long gone are the days of heavy backpacks or lockers packed full of books. No more highlighters to mark books or making book covers to make sure the books last longer. The school has a one-iPad-per-student model and believes it will expand student access to engaging tools and resources.

Engaging is the word I would like to focus on here. One of my son’s teachers goes as far as posting assignments and directions on her own YouTube channel. What better way to connect with kids than to do it on a medium they love to use. So I watched one of the sessions and it was great. Long, yes, but still good and gave students step-by-step instructions.

Simultaneously as this is happening at home, at work our team has just launched a new monthly magazine. Our topic this month is education. The magazine has tons of content about how technology is changing the way we learn. One of the stories even focuses on the one laptop per child program and our contributing writer talks to Nicholas Negroponte who founded the program.

That said I now know some people don’t agree with the one-iPad-per-student model, but this is a digital world we are living in now. What better way to have our kids adapt than by having them do all of their work on one device and also engage with their instructors online during the process. I have to admit, sometimes it does freak me out that my son barely knows how to write in cursive, but he can probably type faster and find something online way quicker than I can. The best part is I know he is getting a good education and learning about the importance of this increasingly digital world at the same time.

 

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Solving the Network Location Problem with LISP Part 2

September 4, 2013 at 11:32 am PST

Hey Bro, Do you even LISP?

So in the last article, we discussed a bit of why a solution like LISP ( Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol) is required. To summarize, there aren’t enough IPv4 addresses to go around and there are too many IPv6 addresses to let them ‘roam’ using traditional routing methods. Available in IOS (15.1X+) and NX-OS with standards currently being developed within the IETF LISP Working Group, LISP provides a promising solution to mapping IP nodes to locations on the Internet.

zazzle

Zazzle

If you read the last article, by now some of you are saying, “John, the devices that roam, such as mobile phones, can simply acquire new addresses on the most local network. Why do we need LISP?” It is true this is how we do it now, and it works reasonably well for most users and applications. While it would be nice to seamlessly stream as we move from one network to another, that is more of a luxury feature than a necessity.

The Case for LISP

Let’s forget about mobile devices for just a moment and consider virtual machines and cloud computing. Virtual machines (VM) themselves are increasingly mobile. If I want to do maintenance on some bare metal, I can migrate that VM to another node but if my IP address is going to change, this adds a series of complications in updating services and applications such as DNS (Domain Name Service), to point at the correct address. These name to address mappings can be cached causing significant delays between a desired move and an actualized result when the cache finally expires. Read More »

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The Fourth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Create an App Checkpoint

This is the fourth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here.  

For today’s app-centric mobile workforce, it’s no longer enough to provide basic security features for devices. Gone are the days where security for mobility is “all or nothing” where virtual private networks (VPNs) gave you access to all corporate network resources, or you had very limited email and calendaring access.

Today, enterprises are managing public and private mobile applications that require a shift in security practices and a new application strategy. Here’s a short checklist to guide enterprises as they create app checkpoints to meet new security demands:

Step 4

To watch the video, see: http://youtu.be/dpQ5_n6FoX4

1. Look for a rapid, reliable, and secure vetting process for applications. 

IT security teams are usually directed toward securing the network and the devices connected to it, versus securing the applications that run on those devices. Many organizations lack the resources to evaluate an application’s ability to handle sensitive information throughout its lifecycle.

Companies rarely have the resources to monitor sites that could breed malware, nor do they have the ability to maintain heuristic algorithms to identify such sites prior to infection. And those that decide to secure mobile apps themselves might end up having to prioritize remediations, leaving them vulnerable. Read More »

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Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX: Collaboration Helps Build Momentum

Cisco and EMC continue to partner closely to speed our customers journey to the cloud via our “three paths to the cloud’ strategy. The strategy enables customers to implement custom-design infrastructures with best-of-breed products, validated reference architectures via Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX, and pre-integrated converged infrastructure from VCE.

In the last year, Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX have generated significant momentum with customers and partners.  In this short period of time we have:

  • Signed up more than 850 channel partners
  • Nearly 1,000 VSPEX customers around the world
  • Published 9 CVD’s focused on virtualization and desktop virtualization
  • 60% y/y growth in viewership on our VSPEX CVD pages

Cisco and EMC will continue collaborating on VSPEX to expand the solution portfolio and accelerate growth. As a preview of future VSPEX CVDs, two new solution briefs have just been released. These solution briefs enable customers to choose their desired hypervisor, Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 or VMware VSphere 5.1, and get a validated configuration for up to 1000 virtual machines based upon Cisco UCS servers and networking with next-generation EMC VNX Series storage. The next-generation EMC VNX Series storage will complement VSPEX solutions by enhancing virtual application performance through multicore optimization software taking advantage of the latest multicore CPUs.

Building your own infrastructure solutions can not only take time and resources but also can introduce additional risk and complexity. This is exactly the problem that Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX solves by offering presized and validated solutions that give customers confidence that they are deploying the right balance of computing, networking, and storage resources.

Congratulations to the Cisco and EMC teams for their momentum with Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX and thank you for making it easy for organizations to quickly deploy a powerful, secure virtualized environment without the expense or risk entailed in designing and building a custom solution.

To learn more about Cisco’s solutions for EMC VSPEX please visit www.cisco.com/go/vspex.

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Data Center Transformation: Impact on Storage Networks

The increase in enterprise data storage needs coupled with longer data retention periods (mandated by legislation and compliance regulations) is leading to large growth in storage infrastructure: more backup, complex archive and disaster recovery, and increased requirements for resources, such as space, power, cooling, storage, and personnel. While businesses are trying to reduce their CapEx and OpEx, they are challenged to lower their storage infrastructure investments.  In order to be more responsive in a highly competitive marketplace, organizations are transforming to support the 21st century needs, by being more agile and efficient in delivering centralized applications and services to a geographically distributed customer base. To accomplish these goals, organizations are consolidating data centers, adding virtualization technologies, and leveraging cloud architectures. These initiatives, along with others, are imposing significant strain on storage networks

 Now the question is how do you consolidate and virtualize Storage efficiently and support DC transformation? Is it by enabling FC or FCoE or iSCSI or NAS ?

May be, the answer is — “Multi-protocol Storage”… To provide highest reliability, scalability, and performance, organizations have traditionally deployed Fibre Channel storage networks and some will continue to do so.   FC is still the preferred choice for enterprise (large and small) and market transition from 4/8 G to 16 G is the best proof that FC market is strong and growing. While FC is growing,  Ethernet based Storage solutions ( i.e.FCOE, iSCSI etc) is also gaining mindshare and some of our progressive customers use end to end FCOE  and  other Ethernet based Storage protocols to reap  benefit of convergence.  Cisco solution enables true convergence by combining the power of Ethernet and Fibre Channel (FC) technology.

 If you like to learn how to design your converged storage networks, please attend the: Design Zone Webinar Series: Next topic -- Network Convergence in a Unified Data Center -- Register: Sep 10 2013  8:00 AM  PST. This session will help you understand how FCoE technology can be deployed incrementally in the evolving converged data center designs. Learn how to design and deploy real-world converged storage networks with a number of real customer examples

Sep 10th 8:00 AM PST

Design Zone Webinar

Read More »

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